Sadly, there’s no secret route we can take. And unlike previous closures around the Spaghetti Bowl interchange, the Nevada Department of Transportation isn’t offering any suggestions to bypass the construction consuming Interstate 15 and U.S. Highway 95.
Even NDOT Director Rudy Malfabon is having a tough time.
“It took a lot longer to get here this morning,” Malfabon said Thursday, drawing laughs during the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada’s board meeting.
It’s a phrase many of us have uttered since last week, and will continue to say as work progresses on Nevada’s largest infrastructure project.
Indeed, some motorists are opting to take surface streets like Las Vegas Boulevard, Decatur Boulevard and Maryland Parkway to avoid the construction zone. Other brave souls are putting up with the stop-and-go slog through a significantly slimmer I-15.
“People are just learning how to improve their commutes,” Malfabon said. “I saw the news stories on the first day of the Main Event, and it definitely had some major impacts and delays for folks as they get better informed and really use the tools available to them.”
NDOT officials hope to alleviate some of the commuter confusion by flashing warning messages on a set of new Active Traffic Management signs along U.S. 95.
Drivers were also advised to use the Waze smartphone app and check for messages on the agency’s social media networks at Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. A hotline is also available in English and Spanish at 702-293-6366.
Even though the Main Event closes at the end of this year, construction will continue through July 2019 on Project Neon, the $1 billion effort to widen I-15 between Sahara Avenue and the Spaghetti Bowl interchange.
Clark County Commissioner Larry Brown, who serves as chairman of the RTC board, said he’s finding the progress for Project Neon to be “remarkable.”
“It is chaos,” Brown said. “But those who use it everyday, I think, have gained an appreciation of the magnitude of the project.”
Eleanor from Henderson said the road stripes are pretty faded at Horizon Drive and Horizon Ridge Parkway — almost to the point where she couldn’t find the limit line to stop at a red light.
Henderson city spokeswoman Kathleen Richards said the Public Works Department will check out the intersection and make improvements if necessary.
In the meantime, drivers who are unable to see pavement markings must follow a state law that requires them to stop before entering an intersection, Richards said.
“Other visual cues such as curbs, medians and pavement markings for cross traffic should assist with this decision,” Richards said. “Drivers should also ensure that the traffic signal is still visible when stopped.”
Joe is a part-time resident of North Las Vegas who frequently drives on Washburn Road, and wanted to know whether it could be widened around Fifth Avenue. For now, Washburn narrows from two lanes to one lane.
North Las Vegas city spokeswoman Delen Goldberg said the street narrows because adjacent lots are not yet developed.
“It will be the private developer’s responsibility to do those street improvements when they develop that land,” Goldberg said.
In the meantime, Goldberg said the city Public Works Department will check on the road’s maintenance.
Rick from Las Vegas said the pavement is pretty rough along Grand Teton Drive, between Fort Apache and Oso Blanca roads in the northwest valley.
Las Vegas city spokeswoman Margaret Kurtz said city maintenance crews completed about 200 feet of shoulder repairs on the north side of Grand Teton in January, and increased the road’s width by four feet.
“There is a section of asphalt that has a slight washboard effect due to the volume of water coming down Grand Teton, but it is in good condition,” Kurtz said, adding that the recent work is expected to last until an overpass is built.
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Road work ahead
— The ramp linking northbound U.S. Highway 95 to southbound Interstate 15 is closed through mid-April. Crews are widening the interchange.
— The Charleston Boulevard onramps to southbound Interstate 15 is closed until mid-October. Crews are rebuilding the intersection.
— The right lane on northbound Interstate 15 at Flamingo Road is closed until 6 a.m. April 6. Crews are restriping the road and installing signs.
— The outside lane of southbound Interstate 15 is closed between Sahara Avenue and Flamingo Road through late April. Crews are erecting traffic management signs.
— The outside lane of northbound Interstate 15 will close between Flamingo and Desert Inn roads from March to late April. Crews are erecting traffic management signs.
— Main Street is restricted between Bonneville Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard through May. Crews are working on a storm drain.
— The D Street onramp to southbound Interstate 15 is closed through mid-July. Crews are working in Project Neon.
— Sections of Bonneville Avenue, Charleston Boulevard, Grand Central Parkway and Martin Luther King Boulevard will have closed or disrupted lanes surrounding the Spaghetti Bowl as crews work on Project Neon through July.
— Interstate 15 will be narrowed in both directions between Sahara Avenue and D Street until Nov. 20. Crews are widening the freeway.
— The ramp connecting southbound U.S. Highway 95 to southbound I-15 will be reduced to one lane and detoured through Nov. 20. Crews are widening I-15.
— The ramp linking southbound U.S. 95 to northbound I-15 is closed through Nov. 20. Crews are widening I-15.
— The Martin Luther King Boulevard onramp to southbound U.S. Highway 95 is closed until early 2019. Crews are building a high-occupancy flyover ramp.
— Gass Avenue will be restricted between Las Vegas and Charleston Boulevards through March 2019. Crews are making pedestrians and bicycle improvements.
— Both directions of U.S. Highway 95 are narrowed to a single lane between Skye Canyon Park and Paiute drives through July 12. Crews are building a new interchange bridge.
— Center Street is restricted between Burkholder Boulevard and Lake Mead Parkway through June. Crews are making various road improvements.
North Las Vegas
— Both directions of Interstate 15 will be narrowed to a single lane for a two-mile stretch near U.S. Highway 93 from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. nightly through Thursday. Crews are rebuilding the freeway interchange.
— Las Vegas Boulevard will be reduced to one lane in each direction between Nellis Boulevard and Range Road through
March 30. Crews are installing a sewer pipeline.
— U.S. Highway 93 is restricted between Interstate 15 and Apex Power Parkway through June. Crews are widening the highway and upgrading an interchange.
— Nellis Boulevard is restricted between Cheyenne Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard from 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays through July. Crews are installing sewer pipes.
The average gasoline price Friday in the Las Vegas Valley was $2.76 per gallon. It was $2.79 in Nevada. The national average of $2.54 is unchanged from a week ago, down 5 cents from a month ago and up 29 cents from a year ago.